Docudharma Times Thursday May 7

Cheney Defends The

Little People Involved

With Torture.


People Who Approved

The Program

You Know The

Little People

Thursday’s Headlines:

Democrats face hard time over Guantanamo

Burmese police enter Aung San Suu Kyi compound

New onslaught forces exodus from Swat Valley

Jacob Zuma elected president of South Africa

Thousands in Somalia flee clashes with Islamist militants

Father of tennis star Jelena Dokic arrested after bomb threat

DNA database of innocent people ‘could face legal challenge’

Plans for the pope’s visit hit a wall in Bethlehem

Contractors Using Military Clinics

Mexico City returns to normal as swine flu restrictions fade

Obama’s Budget Knife Yields Modest Trims

Plan Likely to Face Tough Fight on the Hill

By Lori Montgomery and Amy Goldstein

Washington Post Staff Writers

Thursday, May 7, 2009

President Obama has said for weeks that his staff is scouring the federal budget, “line by line,” for savings. Today, they will release the results: a plan to trim 121 programs by $17 billion, a tiny fraction of next year’s $3.4 trillion budget.

The plan is less ambitious than the hit list former president George W. Bush produced last year, targeting 151 programs for $34 billion in savings. And like most of the cuts Bush sought, congressional sources and independent budget analysts yesterday predicted that Obama’s, too, would be a tough sell.

“Even if you got all of those things, it would be saving pennies, not dollars.

China ready for post-Kyoto deal on climate change

Dramatic reversal in US position under Obama has brought Beijing to the table on emission cuts, says UK climate secretary

Jonathan Watts, Asia environment correspondent

China is ready to abandon its resistance to limits on its carbon emissions and wants to reach an international deal to fight global warming, the Guardian has learned.

According to Britain’s climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, who met senior officials in Beijing this week, China is ready to “do business” with developed countries to reach an agreement to replace the Kyoto treaty.

Miliband said he was encouraged by the change in tone since late last year in the country that emits more greenhouse gases than any other. “I think they’re up for a deal. I get the strong impression that they want an agreement,” he told the Guardian.

“They see the impact of climate change on China and they know the world is moving towards a low-carbon economy and see the business opportunities that will come with that.”


As Stress Tests Are Revealed, Markets Sense a Turning Point


Published: May 6, 2009

The results of the bank stress tests have been trickling out for days, from Washington and from Wall Street, and the leaks seem to confirm what many bankers feel in their bones: despite all those bailouts, some of the nation’s largest banks still need more money.

But that does not necessarily mean the banks will get that money from the government. The findings, to be released Thursday by the Obama administration, suggest that the rescue money that Congress has already approved will be enough to fill the gaps. If so, the big bailouts for the banks may be over.

All of this assumes that the economy does not take another turn for the worse, which would result in even more losses at the banks – and the need for even more money to prop them up. But hopes that the tests will be a turning point in this financial crisis electrified Wall Street on Wednesday and some overseas markets the next day. Financial shares soared, lifting the broader American stock market to its highest level in four months.

Democrats face hard time over Guantanamo

Obama’s decision to close the detention facility puts lawmakers on the hot seat as word spreads that some detainees could be relocated to the U.S.

By Janet Hook

May 7, 2009

Reporting from Washington — President Obama’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, one of his first acts after taking office, is putting fellow Democrats on the political hot seat as word spreads that terrorism suspects and other detainees would be relocated to the U.S. or transferred to domestic prisons.

States and municipalities around the country are saying “not in my backyard,” and Republicans are raising the prospect of relocated detainees putting Americans in danger.

“By releasing trained terrorists into civilian communities in the United States, the administration will, by definition, endanger the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

In several states, legislators have introduced or passed resolutions opposing the transfer of detainees to correctional facilities or military bases in their areas. One Montana town volunteered to take detainees into its empty prison, only to be denounced by the state’s entire congressional delegation.


Burmese police enter Aung San Suu Kyi compound

Move follows reports that American man was arrested after entering detained opposition leader’s home

Mark Tran and agencies, Thursday 7 May 2009 09.36 BST

Police officers have entered the compound of the Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest, it was reported today.

Neighbours of Suu Kyi – who has been detained for more than 13 of the past 19 years – said officers made a rare foray into the compound following reports that an American man had been detained after entering it.

The official Kyemon newspaper said John William Yeattaw was arrested in Rangoon early yesterday.

When questioned, Yeattaw said he had arrived in Rangoon on a tourist visa on Saturday and swam across the Inya lake to Suu Kyi’s compound the following night.

He said he had secretly entered the house and stayed there until Tuesday night, the newspaper reported.

New onslaught forces exodus from Swat Valley

 500,000 could flee the troubled Pakistani province

By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent

Thursday, 7 May 2009

By bus, by car and on foot, thousands of people continued to pour from the Swat Valley yesterday as the Pakistani military used helicopter gunships and pounding mortar rounds to try to drive out Taliban fighters. Aid officials said they had registered 45,000 people forced from their homes in the last four days but said that number could soon soar. The government has estimated that up to 500,000 people might flood out of the Swat valley ahead of a possible major offensive against the militants.

“It is an all-out war there. Rockets are landing everywhere,” Laiq Zada, who fled the danger zone, told the Associated Press. “We have with us the clothes on our bodies and a hope in the house of God. Nothing else.” The sharpened military offensive came as Pakistan’s leader, Asif Ali Zardari, yesterday met in Washington with Barack Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai. Many in Washington will be heartened by the decision by Mr Zardari and the military to take the fight to the militants.

But there are doubts over the military capacity for the operation, and the human costs involved. A drawn-out conflict will only increase the longer-term exodus. Some may feel they would have nothing to return to. “I do not have any destination. I only have an aim – to escape from here,” said Afzal Khan, who was waiting for a bus with his wife and nine children. “It is like doomsday here. It is like hell.”


Jacob Zuma elected president of South Africa

From Times Online

May 7, 2009

Jonathan Clayton in Johannesburg

South Africa’s parliament yesterday elected Jacob Zuma, leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), as the country’s fourth black president, the culmination of one of the most remarkable political comebacks in recent history.

Mr Zuma, 67, whose party won a landslide victory in elections last month, will be inaugurated at a special ceremony in the capital Pretoria on Saturday. Until then, the country remains in the hands of caretaker President Motlanthe.

Yesterday’s endorsement by 277 members of the 400-seat parliament was a foregone conclusion, but nevertheless represented a sweet moment for the former Zulu goat-herder turned liberation struggle commander who was fired as deputy president by former President Mbeki four years ago after he was accused of involvement in an arms scandal.

Thousands in Somalia flee clashes with Islamist militants

By Shashank Bengali | McClatchy Newspapers

HAGADERA, Kenya – The pirates get the headlines, but what drove Habibo Kune and her teenage son out of Somalia and into this sprawling, sand-blown refugee camp was a different group of men with guns.

Islamist militants, who’ve waged a two-year, blood-soaked insurgency, continue to battle pro-government forces for territory throughout southern Somalia. Since January, a surge in violence has driven more than 25,000 people into the camps of eastern Kenya – already overflowing with two decades’ worth of Somali refugees – which has badly strained one of the world’s largest humanitarian operations.


Father of tennis star Jelena Dokic arrested after bomb threat

From Times Online

May 7, 2009

Anne Barrowclough

The father of tennis player Jelena Dokic has been arrested in Serbia for threatening to blow up the Australian embassy after his daughter told an Australian magazine he had physically abused her.

Damic Dokic was detained in Vrdnik, northwest Serbia, on Wednesday after saying he would throw a bomb at the car of the Australian ambassador to Serbia, Clare Birgin, if the claims weren’t retracted – despite admitting himself that he had beaten his daughter.

Police were carrying out a search of his house late on Wednesday night, Interior Minister Ivica Davic said.

DNA database of innocent people ‘could face legal challenge’

Plans to hold the DNA profiles of innocent people for 12 years have been condemned by civil liberties groups, who have threatened to mount a legal challenge to the policy.

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor

Last Updated: 10:05AM BST 07 May 2009

Ministers have decided to keep the data of up to 850,000 people – including some children – never convicted of any crime despite a landmark European Court ruling that they should be deleted.

Shami Chakrabarti of the campaign group Liberty has demanded that the Government back down from its attempt to build a vast DNA database or face legal action.

“These proposals are not quite two fingers to the European Court of Human Rights but they come pretty close,” she said.

“They don’t distinguish between people who are under suspicion, people who are wholly innocent and those who are guilty.

“The Government is still trying to get away with the largest database possible, including holding the details of people who are wholly innocent of anything. If they do not budge in consultation, then we will see them in court.”

Middle East

 Plans for the pope’s visit hit a wall in Bethlehem

Palestinians are building a stage to receive the pope beside Israel’s separation barrier, but the Vatican says he will now speak at a nearby school.

By Ilene R. Prusher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK – For weeks, laborers have been laying new tiles and leaders have been finalizing their plans for welcoming one of the most important visitors the Aida Refugee Camp has ever seen: Pope Benedict XVI, who will embark on a historic visit to the Holy Land next week.

But despite giving the stone amphitheater here a face-lift – with funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) – their plans to host the pope have hit a glitch, or to be exact, a wall. The Vatican has informed Palestinian officials that the papal visit will be held at a nearby United Nations school instead of on the stage they were preparing for him, raising a wave of local ire.

What’s in a stage?

There is no other venue in the world with a backdrop quite like this one. It sits in the looming shadow of the West Bank separation barrier built by Israel, complete with a forbidding watchtower. The massive concrete slabs here are painted with anti-Israeli graffiti, calls for Palestinian freedom, and a white patch on which the camp’s community center sometimes screens films. From the point of view of Palestinians who live here, there is no vista which conveys their reality better than this one.

Contractors Using Military Clinics

Civilians Also Are Not Paying, Audit Says

By Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Military clinics and field hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan have supplied more than $1 million a month in health-care services to civilian contractors during the past two years without seeking reimbursement from their employers, as provided by law, according to a new audit by the Defense Department inspector general.

The report, issued Monday, noted that all costs associated with both emergency and primary medical care are reimbursable to the government and are the responsibility of the contingency contractor personnel, their employer or their health insurance provider.

Latin America

Mexico City returns to normal as swine flu restrictions fade

Restaurants and offices reopened Wednesday. High school and university students return to school tomorrow.

By Sara Miller Llana | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

MEXICO CITY – Mexico City rubbed its eyes Wednesday morning, emerging from a five-day economic shutdown that authorities ordered to contain the swine flu – bringing a curious calm to one of the world’s most frenetic capitals.

Men and women, dressed in suits and holding briefcases, walked down city streets en route to work as offices reopened Wednesday. Street vendors unfolded tables and chairs on sidewalks. Mario Antonio Figueroa, a juice vendor, says he’s never been so happy to wake up at 4 a.m. to get to his spot on the street. “I just hope they let us keep working,” he says, rinsing off a half-dozen oranges.

Restaurants also open Wednesday, as workers cleared off tables that were stacked away while takeout was the only service permitted. The next wave comes tomorrow, when high school and university students head back to class. Museums, libraries, and churches will also open doors. And by next Monday, elementary school students will be back on their playgrounds.

Ignoring Asia A Blog

1 comment

    • RiaD on May 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    YOU’re the BEST!!

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